- The European Championships 2020 qualifiers are now on to Matchday 5
- Italy and Spain look to preserve their 100-percent records
- Finland heading to their first final tournament
It’s Matchday 5 in the European Championships 2020 qualifying this week and we’re looking at a few of Thursday’s matches in search of some value for the bettors.
UEFA 2020 Group D – Republic of Ireland vs Switzerland Odds
|Odds To Win Group D
|Republic of Ireland
|O 2.0 (+105)
|U 2.0 (-125)
*Odds taken on September 5, 2019
With the Republic of Ireland currently topping Group D – ten points from their opening four games – Mick McCarthy’s men now have a chance to make a statement against the favorites to win the group.
So far, the Irish have been dealt a kind hand with the fixtures, and their four games to date have included two against the group’s whipping boys Gibraltar, but now it gets tough.
Republic of Ireland vs Switzerland | Match Preview | #COYBIG
— Irish Football Fan TV (@irishfantv) September 3, 2019
The talented Swiss meanwhile have only played twice and have so far beaten Gibraltar away and have drawn with Denmark in Copenhagen. They will feel now is the time to kick on.
The Irish, given their relatively easy run so far, is tough to gauge but McCarthy teams are notoriously difficult to play against and this will be a tough evening in Dublin for Switzerland. The Irish won’t go gung ho for the win and will be structured and solid, and the question will be if the Swiss can break them down.
In truth, it’s hard to put together a solid argument for an Irish win but given the Swiss’ lukewarm opening to the group they may end up being content with a point from the game. Therefore I see the value being with a low-scoring draw.
My pick: Republic of Ireland and Switzerland to draw (+220)
UEFA 2020 Group F – Romania vs Spain Odds
|Odds To Win Group F
|O 2.5 (-125)
|U 2.5 (+105)
The Spanish look to be coasting to next summer’s finals with a 100-percent record in qualifying so far. Four wins out of four with 11 goals scored for and just two against tells the story of a team who already have one eye on next June.
Even with six qualifying games left to play, it’s difficult to see a way Spain won’t be winning this group but Romania in Bucharest represents arguably their toughest challenge so far, with the notoriously partisan crowd in the Arena Națională guaranteed to make it as uncomfortable as possible for them.
The Romanians also just happen to be a decent team who have only lost one game so far – 2-1 away in Sweden on Matchday 1 – and are in a three-way battle, along with Sweden and Norway, for the prized second-place in the group that will secure them a place in next summer’s finals. And they have a chance.
Santi Cazorla played the full 90 minutes & even took the captain’s armband in the second-half in Spain’s 4-1 win away to the Faroe Island last night, which was the Spaniard’s first start in 1,302 days for his national team.
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) June 8, 2019
The narrow 2-1 defeat in Sweden may have not been the ideal start but it did prove to them that they have what it takes to go toe-to-toe with the Scandinavian countries, and after beating the Faroe Islands 4-1 as expected they followed it up with a well-earned 2-2 draw in Oslo.
So, while the Spanish start as big favorites, the home advantage here could be significant and, as in the Ireland game, I can see real value here in the draw.
My pick: Romania to draw with Spain (+375)
UEFA 2020 Group J – Finland vs Greece Odds
|Odds To Win Group J
|O 2.0 (+125)
|U 2.0 (-150)
The Italians appear to have taken an early stranglehold on Group J, but it’s the Finns who have surprised everybody with three fine wins from their opening four games. In fact, the only game the Finns have lost was their opener in Udine against the 100-percent Italians.
So while, like in Group F, there appear to be runaway winners who have all but booked their place in next summer’s finals, there is a real scrap developing for second place that is currently being led by Finland. Currently, they have nine points from their four games and are followed by Armenia (six from four) and Greece (four from four).
So, effectively, a home win for Finland against Greece would bring it down to a two-horse race, and with Armenia at home to Italy, it really could be a big weekend for the Finns if they are able to get the win.
? Teemu Pukki just can't stop scoring for #NCFC.
?? Will the Norwich frontman take his club form onto the international stage tonight?
— BetStars (@BetStars) September 5, 2019
And with one of Europe’s most red-hot strikers leading their line in Teemu Pukki – five goals in his opening for EPL games for Norwich City – they really do have a great chance to set one foot inside next summer’s finals.
But, while +125 for the Finland win doesn’t offer great value, for this one I’m tempted to go for the correct score and with Pukki and co on fire, we think the Finns can go big, although I’m less convinced they can keep a clean sheet.
My pick: Finland to win 3-1 (+2500)